Beware – thieves may be operating at your landing site


One of the heart warming things to read on this blog are the lengths that people sometimes go to, to return a HAB payload that they find. Every now and again though, you here of a HABist having their payload stolen. Sadly both instances of this, that I  have some across, are from the UK. I’ve recently come across another that I’d like to draw readers attention too.

January 2014

Yesterday, I launched HABE 11. It landed after a quick flight in a field near Cambridge. Following the arrival of a fellow HABist to recover the payload, the payload box was found broken open and in pieces. All the equipment inside had been taken.

Equipment includes: GoPro HERO 3 camera and multiple tracking devices.

Both tracking devices appear to have been disabled, indicating theft. Clear notices were placed on the outside and inside of the payload box indicating a reward if found. As I have yet to receive a call, I now presume the person who has taken the equipment has no intention of returning it.

If you are reading this and have taken HABE 11, please understand that a significant amount of time and effort has gone into this flight.

The tracking devices have no use to you or anyone else. They are highly specialised devices for tracking balloons. As stated – there is still a reward if all items are returned to me. Think, and do the right thing.

To get in touch with me please email me or call the number written on the payload.

There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of loosing your trackers. Having part of your HAB team in the vicinity of the landing site means that you can get to the payload much quicker. You can choose a tracker that cannot be sold. SPOT trackers can be deactivated if lost and the units traced if sold on Ebay. I have personal experience of buying (in good faith) a stolen SPOT Messenger on Ebay, finding it’s original owner, and identifying the illegitimate owner.

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